Moringa oleifera Lam. Family
Moringa oleifera Lam. English Name
Horse-radish tree, Drumstick tree
Moringa oleifera Lam. Local Name
Moringa oleifera Lam. Description
This plant is tropical tree. It is medium sized evergreen or deciduous tree and can grow up to the height of 10-12m and the roots are deep. The bark is grey and corky. The branches are thin and week. The leaves of this plant are compound and alternate and are about 7-60cm long, with each pinnate bearing 5 or 6 pairs of leaflets that are dark green. Flowers are fragmented and about 7 to 14 mm long and have cream colour. The fruit is a typically 3-valved capsule, about 10-60cm in length. The young fruit is green and when turns mature its colour changes into brown at maturity. The mature fruit splits open along each angle to expose the seeds. The capsule contains 10- 20 round seeds, 1-3 cm in diameter. Seeds contain a large amount of oil.
Moringa oleifera Lam. Distribution
This plant is originated from the hills of the Himalayas. It is now naturalized in most African countries, Caribbean islands and in Central America. It is an important crop in Pakistan, India, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and Sudan. This plant grows from sea level up to an altitude of 600m, but it can be found up to 1000m in the Himalayas, it grows better where annual rainfall is about 1000-2000mm. However, it is tolerant of drought and survives where rainfall is as low as 400mm.
Moringa oleifera Lam. Uses
This plant has many uses including edible, medicinal, industrial, and agricultural. Its leaves are full of protein; they can be used for livestock feeding. Oil from the seeds can be used in different industries like manufacturing of perfumes, paints, lubricants, and other things. Leaves are used for the agricultural purposes because they have amazing growth enhancing capabilities for other crops like soybean, coffee etc. Leaves have high iron content and they be used to treat anemia. Its roots and bark can be used for the treatment of cardiac and circulatory problems.